White House Doesnt Rule Out Further Airstrikes Against Syria CSPAN April 10, 2017 1:45pm-2:24pm EDT
those protected classes under title vii. it's about a class that is already protected within title vii? askeds is a case that we the court to recognize that had kimberly been 10 and had a female partner, none of this would've happened. because it was her sex that trigger discrimination, we didn't need to ask them to rewrite -- secretary spicer: welcome back, everyone. good to see you after a few days. this morning, the president was honored to host the swearing-in of associate justice neil gorsuch. his confirmation was the culmination of a deliberative process that the president started almost a year ago when he released his initial list of potential nominees to the supreme court. a september, he released
final and definitive list, promising to select only from those individuals that would continue the legacy of the great justice scalia on the bench. the president celebrated our new associate justice to protect our constitution for generations. was definitely a great day to kickoff the week and another productive week that we will see at the white house. before i get to the upcoming week, a couple of updates over the weekend. thepresident spoke with prime minister from sweden to express condolences for the love once killed in friday's terrorist attack in central stockholm, sweden. and wishes speedy recovery to those wounded. the president also called to convey his deepest condolences to egypt and the families that lost loved ones in the heinous attack that occurred there. dozens of innocent people were killed. in united states condemns the strongest terms these barbaric attacks on christians, places of worship.
president also spoke with the king of saudi arabia, the prime minister of japan, the acting president of south korea, all about the strike on the airfield in syria. all the leaders express support for the united states necessary action. in response to the horrible chemical and bomb attacks on innocent civilians. yesterday, he spoke with the officerng officer and caldwell to thank them and their teams for successfully carrying out that strike. during these calls, the president communicated you could not be more proud of the crews of these two ships and their flawless execution of these operations. these ships, between the two of them, sent 59 tomahawk missiles and each of them hit all of their targets showing america's power in the military accuracy.
it which is just a small representation of our military's overall capability and a fraction of what this president will continue to build up the military to be. the site of people being gassed and blown away by barrel bombs ensures that if we see this kind of action again, we hold open the possibility of future action. the resulting action of what happened insured that the field operation is gone from the sea or facility. 20% of their fixed wing aircraft were destroyed and not doubt. while measures, the world and domestic reaction was highly laudable for the president's actions. we are aware the president had a very successful visit with the chinese president and it concluded on friday. one of the most significant allotments was the agreement to create a 100 day initial plan,
hopefully with tangible deliverables for a unique economic balanced relationship between the two countries. as that develops, we will provide you with additional details. the president was glad to see toyota announce it be spending $1.33 billion of the kentucky plan to part of a invest $10 billion in america over the next five years. it continued to signal the confidence american businesses have in the american economy under president trump. the president will have a discussion on strategy and policy with several members of the cabinet and a group of ceos. this is the follow-up from the strategic and policy forum just this past february with some of the same business leaders and new ones. first, they will meet in interactive groups to discuss the priorities of those cabinet secretaries and their agencies. the president will oversee a report that we presented to the
group. secretary of commerce ross, secretary of education the boss, epa administrator prewitt, only director mulvaney, and secretary of transportation elaine chao. ofl have the additional list which is supposed for you later. we want to eventually result in the transition of a new legitimate syrian leadership. the u.s. special envoy for syria will be coming to washington tomorrow for consultations with the state department and national security adviser mcmaster. he has been overseeing the political talks in geneva. on wednesday, we will welcome the secretary general of nato. secretary-general will have a joint press conference later in the afternoon and the president plans to spend the eastern holiday of florida and will return to the white house on
sunday. as the president noted today, as we hit day 81 and the president's administration, with have done so many great things. including nominate and confirm a supreme court justice. it will back more regulations and any president in modern times. roll back the war on coal, natural gas. historic levels of consumer ceo homebuilder manufacture confident. a 12% gain in the stock market. we have even seen a real resurgence in the mining industry. we have are deuced illegal border crossings to the lowest level in nearly two decades and implemented historic ethics reforms including a five year lobbying ban and a lifetime foreign van. >> why is it ok to bomb syria but not assist refugees?
what is the administration's reaction to russia saying that we are running the danger of a real war with the middle east? number one, the reason we took action was multifold. to stop the proliferation and deterrence of chemical weapons. nuc mass weapons of destruction being used, it should be a concern to every nation. especially our own people. the proliferation of those weapons pose a great threat to our national security. we have to stop that. and we have to stop isis. people ofct to the syria, by us taking action and the escalating what is going on in syria, that is the greatest thing you can do to support those people. the escalating the conflict there and containing isis is the greatest humanitarian relief we can provide first and or most. secondly, creating areas in which we can work with allies,
including russia, committing for ensuring that there are places that are free from violence. in places free for people to gather safely. agree that the last thing people want to do is leave. they want to have a safe place to remain with their families and not be separated. our number one priority is to defeat isis. but from a humanitarian standpoint and refugee standpoint, ensuring we created environment that provides a safe place for them to ultimately remain. and on russia in particular, look -- if you look at the countries that are with us, it speaks pretty loudly the number of countries that have stood shoulder to shoulder with this president. russia, on the other hand, stanza syria, north korea, and iran. when you contrast the two groups of countries, it's pretty clear
we are on the right side of this issue. no, no. the actionns is that we took last week has been widely praised domestically and internationally as a great step to ensure the deterrence and proliferation of chemical against innocent people. when you watched babies and children gassed and suffer under , you arembs instantaneously moved to action. this president made it here but if those actions were to continue, further action would be considered by the united states. the worlde to urge community to join us in both stopping the deterrence and proliferation of the use of those weapons. further trying to create a political environment from that leadership. those are very important. they go hand in hand. >> are you building a coalition?
sec. spicer: i think we have one. if you look at the group, it is a group not too many people are looking to bring on board. a ram, syria, north korea, and russia on one side of that. it is a pretty small group. >> president trump has spoken out against bashir al-assad. this he believe assad should appear before the icc? focus iser: the twofold. defeating isis and treating the political environment necessary for the syrian people to have new leadership there. imagine a stable and assad is inia where power. it can be a multipronged approach. proliferation of chemical weapons at the same time
creating that environment. a change in leadership. >> does the president believe assad has committed war crimes? sec. spicer: there is obviously clearly, the actions -- when you take an action against the people that he has. we feel unbelievably confident in the intelligence that we have. that would be something for a court to decide. ask we're asking with the trump doctrine is on foreign policy and the president stated that it is very flexible. do you know with the trump doctrine is on foreign policy? can you explain it to us? doctrineer: the trump us of the here to kill it a threat the campaign. america first. we want to make sure our national interest are protected. that we can to make sure we are at the forefront and not just going to be running around the world. that we have to have a clear and
defined national interest wherever we act. it is our national security, first and foremost, that has to deal with how we act. >> does syria fit that doctrine? sec. spicer: absolutely. if you recognize the threat that our people face if there is the growth or spread of chemical , the proliferation of those, the spread to other groups is a clear danger to our country and our people. on assad, arep you saying that beating isis and getting assad out of power should happen at the same time? i don't think they are mutually exclusive. i don't think you have to do one or the other but they kind of go hand in hand. as you reduce isis and de-escalate the conflict in syria, the political environment
to remove him becomes stronger and stronger. >> the secretary said that we can navigate a political outcome -- [indiscernible] said we do not see peace in an area with assad is the head of the government. i don't think those are mutually exclusive statements. one of them saying we don't see and theth him in charge th other saying that we need to have him gone, that is the point of both. the goal for the united states is twofold. to make sure we destabilize syria. destabilize the conflict there. reduce the threat of isis. create the political environment not just for the syrian people but i think you can have -- work
with russia in particular to make sure they understand that should be held accountable with the agreements they made on chemical weapons alone. >> can you defeat isis with assad still in power? sec. spicer: yes. sure. defeat isis with him in power. there's not a single track. if we can get both at the same time or one happens after the other, that's fine as well. but obviously, the number one threat america faces is isis in that region and we have to make sure we do everything we can to do that. >> when secretary to listen meets with his russian counterpart, what is the message going to be? going to threaten more sanctions if russia doesn't -- sec. spicer: he's on his way there tomorrow and i will let secretary tillerson talk about his meeting.
there's a lot of things to discuss. the overall fight on isis. inh respect to syria particular, we need to remind them of the commitments they have made and the commitments that syria has made. first and foremost, we need to make sure we all understand what the situation is on the ground. there is no question who acted in this case and what syria did. we need to make sure that russia fullyi think we need to make sue russia fully understands the it, theassad took commitments syria has made and russia has equally agreed to the same understanding. getting them back on the same page, force and foremost would seem to be the most logical step. but secondly, to find an area where we share the commitment to defeat isis is something that we share. would be president put
sanctions on the table to get russia's attention on this matter? [indiscernible] sec. spicer: we'll have plenty of time to discuss how those talks go. one thing the president has been very clear about is he does not like to telegraph all of the parts that he has to review wants to see how that conversation goes with secretary tillerson. if we get them to agree on action to commit to defeating isis -- i think that is what they're going to have the discussion about. what goes beyond rhetoric and where that talk starts and what they are willing to commit to eye and action. that is really important, to get ahead of this right now is not something i want to do. i would like to let secretary tillerson meet with lavrov, have that conversation -- president'sis the perspective on the current ability of the senior advisers to resolve their ideological
differences, result their personality differences, and work as a team? sec. spicer: he is very confident in that. major: why? sec. spicer: this is the same route that came together for a common purpose to win a campaign. there's an unbelievably tell to level from the senior level, the mid-level, from clear all the way down to the bottom level committed to the president's agenda. everyone who came into this administration, while they may have a personal view or action on an issue, they understand and understood and understand the president's agenda. their goal of coming into this was to understand first and foremost it is the president who made pledges and promises to the american people about the direction he has taken this country. i just read off a series of judges he appoints, the congressional review act's, the executive orders.
when you look at the actions he has taken and the result, he is getting 60% down on the border, no one could disprove -- could dispute immigration was a hot topic and the president pro actions are seeing results and i think you're seeing it both on the market and the national security front. he understands we have some pretty smart, talented individuals who are opinionated morelot of subjects, but battles and policy differences need to be behind closed doors. we need to focus and ultimately all come out to events the president's agenda. he is completely aware of the talent he has. that is why he brought this team together, to meet the talents and the accomplishments that they have had and he fully believes that they will move forward to advance his agenda. major: [indiscernible] toldo do principles were
essentially by the president, cool this and get on the same page? a lot ofer: i think this is overblown that makes it out into the media sometimes and gets a little more sensational than it truly is read i think obviously very pleased with the last week he had and the accomplishment, especially on the foreign policy front. i think we had an unbelievably theuctive meeting with president of china. unbelievably productive meeting with king abdullah. syria won not just bipartisan praise here at home, but world praise, and i think he recognizes that sometimes, some of this spills over, these policy differences, in discussions and he has made sure the focus has stayed on advancing an agenda. one of thesaying priorities is regime change. how far is the president willing
to go to see bashar al-assad out of power there? sec. spicer: to be clear, you cannot imagine a stable and peaceful syria with in -- with assad in charge. i don't think this possible. the first step has to be to make sure that the region and syria are stable. you can have isis march into syria and worry about who is in charge right now. we have to make sure in terms of who is in charge of our national security, i think brian from question, our national security is the first and foremost reason we have to act. as isis is proliferating and the chemicals of mass destruction are only rise there, then we have to maintain that. then we can apply political and diplomatic pressure for regime change. they can work in tandem. but the bottom line is, the first priority is the
containment of isis and the conflict that is occurring. >> is the red line for this ?hite house chemical warfare is conventional warfare enough to get the president to go further? sec. spicer: i think the president has been really clear a number of lines were crossed last week to read he is not going to sit down -- we saw that, the last administration, they drew these redlines of the red lines were run over. i don't think you are going to see the same play. not just syria, but the world, saw last week a president who proportionally and with justification when it comes to axes like that. i will tell you, the answer is, if you guess a baby, if you put a barrel bomb into innocent baby, if- if you gas a you put a barrel bomb into innocent people --
i do not want to say, if you do this, this is the reaction you're going to get. the president has made very clear throughout the campaign and the transition and now as president he is not going to telegraph or respond to every corresponding action, because that just tells the opposition or the enemy what you're going to do and whether that response is worth taking. the president is very clear he is going to keep his cards close to the best. but make no mistake, he will act. john? john: i wanted to ask you about the reaction the president took in terms of military involvement last week to review set in your statement, all 59 of those cruise missiles hit their intended targets, and yet we are seeing reports that the military airbase in syria continues to be used by the syrian military. given that, how can you consider that particular mission a success? sec. spicer: i think, from what you're hearing, you have taken two prefilled planes and taken
them off -- it is a pr stunt. over 20% of their fixed wing aircraft from their entire air force was taken out. their ability to operate successfully out of that airbase is gone. as a pr stunt, they took some planes, push them over, to make it look like -- but make no mistake. the radar capability is gone. their fueling capability is gone, and a good chunk of their aircraft are gone. that's a huge success. >> following up on what major garrett asked, there are news reports of a shakeup at the white house. there have been various reports that the deputy national security advisor is stepping down. [indiscernible] can you confirm that? what is behind to that particular move, if in deed that is the case -- if indeed that is the case? sec. spicer: i appreciate that.
i told you before, we will not get into personal announcements until that -- personnel announcements until they are willing to announce. you all as the question whether general mcmasters would have the ability to shape the national security council in his liking with the president's concurrence ? you have seen that was an accurate statement of the time and continues to be now. and general mcmasters has the president's confidence to ensure international security, that the council is shaped in a manner that best serves the president of the united states. and the only thing being shaken up in washington right now are being shaken up is washington. this president continues to show he is going to be a disruptor and do things differently and bring real change to washington. >> thank you, sean. to the questions. first, the previous administration was i in touch with the assad opposition and
of otherconclaves groups through the free syrian army. this administration -- [indiscernible] forces, anti-assad political and military? sec. spicer: that of easley did not prove to successful last cycle, the less administration, in terms of regime change. i'm not going to get into telegraphing what we are doing and how we're doing it. >> congressman santos wrote to the president last week to call them very strong language for him by executive order to end what he calls the opm role of 2013, that was an executive order, of course, that -- the opm rule of 2013. that was executive order, of course, saying that members of congress and their staff could not get health care as special
subsidies unlike any other american. and he said as soon as that is eliminated, congress will move faster, because they and their specialll not have treatment. is the president going to use his pen and get rid of the opm order? sec. spicer: i have to look at that. secretary price has been -- i know that is an opm order. secretary price has been reviewing the necessary documentation and a limitation orders with obamacare. i know he is acting -- working with director will baby. director mug baby will be here with you guys, probably tomorrow, to talk about reorganizing government. that might be a good time to talk to him specifically about that. dave? >> the list of judges that the , inident issued last year the end, democrats still tried to filibuster judge gorsuch. sec. spicer: right.
>> what difference did putting out that list in the end make? that's a great question. first and foremost, the president kept his word. he put out a list of people and campaigned on it. he said, if you elect me, these are the type of justices i will choose from. these are original lists, who will read and interpret the constitution as it was meant to be, and i think the american people, if you look at exit polling voted for him because of that. i think it should, whether you agree or disagree with the president sometimes philosophically, he gets high marks for keeping his word. he went out on a number of topics, put it out before the american people, allowed them to vote it up or down at the ballot box. it is also a continuation to know that the president is someone who makes a pledge to the american people and keeps it.
>> what else did this process teach them, anything? it's pretty obvious. you can disagree with judge .orsuch's judicial philosophy but by any standard he was a highly qualified justice. the american bar association rated him the highest of judges that they worked with in the past. he was in the mainstream and democratic appointees sided with them. it basically show the president but try to work with senate .emocrats these people were going to vote it down. was probably the biggest lesson, but also showed when you
have someone who is eminently qualified, we're going to succeed and getting them down there. >> [indiscernible] there is a report out there that says the president has gone back to the drawing board -- [indiscernible] is that accurate? sec. spicer: no. what he put out there on the campaign trail, is that still the backbone? sec. spicer: yes, that is the background. what you're seeing is on to the process with his economic team, everyone from secretary nugent, nugent ---- secretary coretary mnuchin, secretary hen, and they are meeting with outside groups, industry groups, members of congress to get their input. this will be a major undertaking. we want to make sure that we listen, have their ideas and
their input. but these -- this is the thatning phases of process. >> there was that august mnuchin that secretary and others have talked about. is the deadline getting pushed? sec. spicer: it's not getting pushed. always leave that would be a great opportunity before they leave for august recess, but we will make sure we do this right and do it with the input of groups and members of congress to have a long-time interest in doing this. and it is a big deal, right? you have the ability for our businesses and industries to be more competitive in the global market. and you want to make sure you are providing tax relief that creates growth throughout the country. will they have the 2017 -- [indiscernible] sec. spicer: middle income
americans, i hope, have a tax cut by then. jeff? >> [indiscernible] sec. spicer: sorry. i know. [indiscernible] [laughter] sec. spicer: careful with that. >> [indiscernible] pretty complementary of president putin. what does he think of president putin now? sec. spicer: i think he feels the same, respectfully. if we can get a deal -- we have a shared interest particularly in the area of isis. if we can have a plan to defeat them, then we will do it. but if we can't work with them, ok. intohe president came office to really focus on tita fronts -- keeping our country safe and growing our economy and putting people back to work -- on two fronts, keeping our country safe and growing our economy and putting people back to work. if russia can help either with goods access or moving
and services from united states to a major marketplace, but more importantly to keep our country safe by defeating isis, especially a place like syria where they are playing so prominently, the we want to work with him. but if we cannot get a deal with them, the president is not going to be disappointed, but he would like to do it he can to work with these individuals to make it happen. jim? >> does he still described him the same way -- [indiscernible] sec. spicer: i think secretary tillerson will have a lot of information after he meets with foreign secretary lavrov. >> you mentioned the 100 days. the china offered to give the u.s. concessions on exports and financial investments as part of that? this is an: look, initial working plan they will try to hammer out, what that 100 days looks like. they call them weigh stations.
what are the steps between 100 days and now. things that both sides would be looking at. i think obviously beef exports an additional market access in china, the ability to have different foreign ownership is something that has been a big prize of u.s. exporters and industry for a long time, but it is something being hammered out .s we go forward the plan is to put together a plan and there are pieces both sides would like to see i am there and these benchmarks between now and 100 days. but that plan is something they talked about putting together over the days that they met together. so, there's a lot of topics on the table. we will see how that works. jim? >> what is the status -- this is a multipart question -- what is
the status of the renegotiation of nafta and what is the u.s. nafta, and is there concern about getting it done for the mexican elections at the end of the year? sec. spicer: we need to approve the secretary as the next u.s. trade representative. our focus is getting that done and it will still be ready to go. once we get ambassador light confirmed, we probably will be ready to announce a better work plan on that. as of now we are not there. >> [indiscernible] one of the things he said the president, then president obama needs to seek congressional approval. members of congress believe you should as well. what is the plan to establish his strategy in a broader sense
and what is he not need to aggression approval? sec. spicer: i think articleii is pretty clear. it gives the president authority to act. he spoke with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle that night to describe the action being taken forward. i think we fully fulfilled every obligation with the power vested ii, very clear with the president's ability to act. >> [indiscernible] obviously, there were ideological and policy differences on this particular military action last week. does the president believe this is over in the short term, or is there a long-term solution to be bannon, between steve jared kushner, and others? sec. spicer: are you talking specifically with syria? disagreement,he but is this a short-term fix to
theproblem, or does president believe that there is a longer-term fix to the problem? sec. spicer: a lot of this is, friendly, overblown. the reason the president brought this group together is a diverse set of opinions. he does not want a monolithic monolithical set of opinions. he wants a variety of options and plans. he went back and forth over that eriod where he wanted answers and questions answered. that is how he is going to deal. whether it is this, health care, tax reform, he has a divergent set of opinions, experts. the ideas not to have one set of policies. it is to give the president the best advice possible, but once the president makes a decision, the team is on board 100% to make sure we do what is in the best interests of the country
and fulfill the agenda he has laid out. wants tohe president have a series of ideas and thoughts put forward to him. that is how he is going to make the best decision possible for this country. >> [indiscernible] he said to work it out? sec. spicer: i'm not going to get into what happens internally. sometimes thing spell out in the public. there will always be a healthy debate among policy issues among the cabinet, among the staff to make sure the president sees every option that is available, every opinion he should weigh ad counter before he makes final decision. sometimes these discussions may make them out a little bit more publicly than they do, but as i the beginning, there's a lot of overblown coverage of how it happened and what went down. he is very confident in the team that he has that they are an unbelievable amount of knowledge, and he enjoys the
council they all bring to his table. thank you, guys, very much. i will see you tomorrow. >> one question -- [indistinct conversations] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> if you missed any of it, go to the main page and click on the briefing you will see there. neil gorsuch is the newest supreme court justice. few hours ago in a rose garden ceremony at the white house, i he was -- he was sworn in. president trump made remarks. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemehe